“The Punisher” – Lucius. I don’t know anything about this group, but this song is awesome.

“Thick as Thieves” – The Menzingers. This band has always leaned a little too emo for my tastes. But they shifted ever-so-slightly on their latest album and I’m finding a handful of the tracks very nice to listen to. Good to hear some guitars in the indie rock world!

“The Distance” – Emma Ruth Rundle. Rundle doing what she does best: gorgeous, dark, moody indie rock.

“No Known Drink or Drug” – Japandroids. The first album of 2017 I looked forward to with great anticipation has been out three weeks now. Japandroids’ Near to the Wild Heart of Life is quite good. The only problem is it must be compared with their last album, Celebration Rock. Celebration was an all-time classic, and one of the top five albums of the new millennium. An impossible measuring stick. Wild Heart of Life is fun to listen to, but leaves me feeling a little empty simply because it doesn’t reach the epic heights Celebration reached. A good problem to have, I think. And more guitars!

“Pash Rash” – Jeff Rosenstock. Rosenstock’s album Worry was on a ton of Best of ’16 lists. I finally gave it a listen a couple weeks back. Like Menzingers, he brushes up against that emo/pop-punk sound that is not my favorite. But he has plenty of songs like this that I can crank up and enjoy.